The 11-th Deloitte Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey Reveals a Financial Security to Be Their Key Factor of Concern
- Concerns about the cost of living are top of mind. Almost half of respondents globally and in Ukraine say they live paycheck to paycheck.
- Low pay and burnout are top factors driving job turnover. Work/life balance is the top consideration when choosing a new job.
- The generations are taking actions to reduce their personal impact on the environment, but they do not think businesses and governments are doing enough.
According to Deloitte Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey , these generations are deeply concerned about the state of the world. They are worried about the cost of living, climate change, wealth inequality, geopolitical conflicts, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and they are determined to drive positive societal change. However, they are also struggling with daily life challenges, such as financial anxiety, lack of work/life balance, and consistently high stress levels.
“Notwithstanding that the survey was held before the outbreak of the full-scale war in Ukraine, its key trends will remain and even become more impactful,” says Iakiv Akulov, Senior Manager of Deloitte Ukraine’s Human Capital Advisory Services. “Financial challenges, in particular, the increased cost of living, the reduced actual earnings, and a concern about sustaining financial well-being will become more sensitive to those generations. Geopolitical uncertainty is another challenge that now will be of top concern for the generations not only in Ukraine, but globally. As in recent years, both zoomers and millennials have great expectations towards the role their employers play in resolving global issues – therefore, corporate actions in these tough times will be a true indicator of maturity in terms of living the values and prioritizing impact on the society and environment.”
The cost of living is a major concern
This year, Gen Zs and millennials cited the cost of living as their top personal concern. On the one hand, this may be a symptom of the times and realities, but, on the other hand, it also speaks to the issues that these generations have been expressing for the past 11 years that Deloitte has conducted the survey: they don’t feel financially secure personally and, at a broader societal level, they are deeply concerned about wealth inequality.
In the world, about a quarter of zoomers (25%) and millennials (21%) say they cannot comfortably pay their living expenses each month, and nearly half live paycheck to paycheck. In Ukraine, this indicator is even higher – 28% of Gen Zs and 39% of millennials have difficulties in paying their monthly expenses, and 50% of zoomers and 62% of millennials live paycheck to paycheck. This likely impacts their ability to save and explains why about three in 10 respondents are not confident they will be able to retire with financial comfort. The Ukrainian young people are even less optimistic – approximately every second Ukrainian is not certain about his or her financial security after they retire.
About three-quarters of respondents believe that wealth inequality is rising, and only 28% believe the economic situation in their countries will improve in the coming year. In Ukraine, this trend is the same – about three-quarters of respondents representing both generations believe that the wealth inequality will grow. However, in terms of the economic growth in Ukraine, the opinions of Gen Zs and millennials have diverged. At the moment of the survey, 30% of zoomers noted that they are expecting for the economic growth in Ukraine, which is by 2 percentage points higher than in the previous year. And only 16% of millennials in Ukraine believe the economic situation in their country will improve, which is by 5 pps less than in 2021.
Some zoomers and millennials are taking on second jobs to alleviate financial concerns – as many as 43% of Gen Zs globally and 45% in Ukraine and 33% of millennials globally and 27% in Ukraine. They are also capitalizing on the financial benefits of moving to less expensive cities and being able to work remotely.
“It is clear that because of the war and harsh economic situation the concern about financial security as a trend will only be intensified. Many Ukrainians have lost their properties and/or relocated, which, on top of that, causes significant additional expenses. But we will be able to track the consequences of those factors in our next survey,” summarizes Iakiv Akulov.
The Great Resignation puts workers in the driver’s seat
Employee loyalty is up from last year’s survey, potentially because many people changed jobs over the last year. But this still leaves four in 10 zoomers and nearly a quarter of millennials who would like to leave their jobs within the next two years, and roughly a third who would do so without another job lined up. This trend coincides in Ukraine and globally.
“Currently the supply on the labor market in Ukraine exceeds demand , therefore, we are expecting that employees will be more loyal to employers, and their intentions to change work will be lower, at least, until the economic recovery,” adds Iakiv Akulov.
Pay and workplace mental health concerns are the top reasons why respondents left their jobs over the last two years both globally and in Ukraine. Another key reason for resignation of young people in the world is burnout. Whereas, in Ukraine, it is not even among top five reasons. Our Gen Zs have more often changed jobs due to redefined values and aspirations as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and millennials have required more work/life balance and sought for learning and skills development opportunities. Another important factor that is especially cited by Ukrainian young people is a sense of meaning from work.
Respondents see flexible work as a way to find balance in their lives: saving money while making time for the people and activities they care about. Three-quarters of respondents say they would prefer a hybrid or remote work arrangement. In Ukraine, this trend is more powerful – over 90% of zoomers and over 80% of millennials would prefer a hybrid or remote work arrangement.
Purpose continues to be pivotal to talent recruitment and retention. Nearly two in five respondents said they have turned down an assignment or role because it did not align with their values. In Ukraine, such a response has been given by every second respondent. Meanwhile, those who are satisfied with their employers’ societal and environmental impact – along with their efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive culture – are more likely to stay with their employer long-term.
There is a growing emphasis on climate action in the world – at both the individual and organizational level
Climate change continues to be a top concern for zoomers and millennials in the world. About three-quarters of respondents, both globally and in Ukraine, agree that the world is at a tipping point in responding to the climate crisis, and roughly two-thirds have already been personally impacted by severe weather events, emphasizing the need for urgent action.
“While the issue of climate change is rated second among the top concerns of young people globally, it is not even among the top five urgent ones in Ukraine. At the same time, Ukrainian youth named political uncertainty, military conflicts and corruption as priority factors of concern, which is explained by our social and political context. Nevertheless, environmental trends become part of our lives and youth acts as a major ambassador in driving these changes. I am confident that the significance of this trend in Ukraine will only grow, and the principles of sustainable development will be important during economic recovery and further transformation of our country,” comments Iakiv Akulov.
Despite different relevance of the trend in Ukraine and globally, nine in 10 respondents currently make an effort to protect the environment – primarily focused on everyday actions such as using second-hand and recyclable items or sourcing local and organic food. Gen Zs and millennials are willing to spend more on sustainable products, but financial constraints may make it challenging for them to invest in more expensive items like solar panels and electric vehicles. Still, half of respondents globally and more than half in Ukraine said they plan on making these purchases in the future.
Few respondents believe that businesses and governments are doing enough to combat climate change. As a result, zoomers and millennials are advocating for greater action, putting pressure on their employers to invest in visible, everyday environmental actions. A ban on single-use plastics was the No. 1 recommendation, followed by sustainability-oriented benefits (e.g., electric car subsidies, incentive to use public transport, etc.) and training – ultimately empowering employees to make greener choices in their everyday lives.
Employers increase focus on mental health, but stress levels remain high
Stress levels continue to be high among respondents, particularly zoomers, both in Ukraine and globally. Nearly half of Gen Zs (46% in the world and 41% in Ukraine) and about four in 10 millennials (38% in the world and 32% in Ukraine) are stressed all or most of the time. And nearly half of respondents globally feel burned out due to the pressure of their workloads – about the same percentage of respondents say many of their colleagues have recently left their organizations due to burnout. In Ukraine, this indicator is a little bit lower and differs among the generations – the burnout is felt by 45% of zoomers and 38% of millennials, and 34% and 29%, respectively, have said about the resignation of their colleagues due to burnout.
The survey did find that zoomers and millennials believe their employers are more focused on well-being and mental health since the start of the pandemic. However, less than half of the respondents believe this had any meaningful impact on employees. In Ukraine, such representatives include 50% of Gen Zs and 39% of millennials.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to focus on different aspects of well-being, in particular, on mental health. This trend has gained a new meaning with the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine and will continue to be of significance in the post-war times as well. Although the culture of taking care of mental health is still maturing in our country, companies need to start thinking now about more comprehensive work in this direction focusing not only on training, but also on integrating the well-being principles in all work processes taking into account employee experience,” says Iakiv Akulov.
The 2022 report reflects the survey responses of 14,808 Generation Zs and 8,412 millennials (23,220 respondents in total), from 46 countries across North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. The survey was conducted using an online, self-complete-style interview. Fieldwork was completed between 24 November 2021 and 4 January 2022.
In addition to the survey, in April 2022, a virtual qualitative assessment was conducted with 15 Gen Zs and millennials from Australia, India, Japan, the UK, and the USA. The participants shared their personal thoughts on questions related to their societal concerns, finances, the future of work, climate change, and mental health.
The report represents a broad range of respondents, from those with executive positions in large organizations to others who are participating in the gig economy, doing unpaid work, or are unemployed. Additionally, the Gen Z group includes students who have completed or are pursuing degrees, those who have completed or plan to complete vocational studies, and others who are in secondary school and may or may not pursue higher education.
Millennial respondents were born between January 1983 and December 1994, and Gen Z respondents were born between January 1995 and December 2003.
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